US9724296B2 - Chewable gelled emulsions - Google Patents

Chewable gelled emulsions Download PDF

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US9724296B2
US9724296B2 US14515297 US201414515297A US9724296B2 US 9724296 B2 US9724296 B2 US 9724296B2 US 14515297 US14515297 US 14515297 US 201414515297 A US201414515297 A US 201414515297A US 9724296 B2 US9724296 B2 US 9724296B2
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hydrochloride
oil
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emulsion
composition
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Tore Seternes
Kurt Ingar Draget
Ingvild Johanne Haug
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    • A61K9/0012Galenical forms characterised by the site of application
    • A61K9/0053Mouth and digestive tract, i.e. intraoral and peroral administration
    • A61K9/0056Mouth soluble or dispersible forms; Suckable, eatable, chewable coherent forms; Forms rapidly disintegrating in the mouth; Lozenges; Lollipops; Bite capsules; Baked products; Baits or other oral forms for animals
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J1/00Containers specially adapted for medical or pharmaceutical purposes
    • A61J1/03Containers specially adapted for medical or pharmaceutical purposes for pills or tablets
    • A61J1/035Blister-type containers
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    • A61K31/185Acids; Anhydrides, halides or salts thereof, e.g. sulfur acids, imidic, hydrazonic, hydroximic acids
    • A61K31/19Carboxylic acids, e.g. valproic acid
    • A61K31/192Carboxylic acids, e.g. valproic acid having aromatic groups, e.g. sulindac, 2-arylpropionic acids, ethacrynic acid
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    • A61K31/495Heterocyclic compounds having nitrogen as a ring hetero atom, e.g. guanethidine, rifamycins having six-membered rings with two or more nitrogen atoms as the only ring heteroatoms, e.g. piperazine or tetrazines
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    • A61K31/506Pyrimidines; Hydrogenated pyrimidines, e.g. trimethoprim not condensed and containing further heterocyclic rings
    • A61K31/51Thiamines, e.g. vitamin B1
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    • A61K31/495Heterocyclic compounds having nitrogen as a ring hetero atom, e.g. guanethidine, rifamycins having six-membered rings with two or more nitrogen atoms as the only ring heteroatoms, e.g. piperazine or tetrazines
    • A61K31/505Pyrimidines; Hydrogenated pyrimidines, e.g. trimethoprim
    • A61K31/519Pyrimidines; Hydrogenated pyrimidines, e.g. trimethoprim ortho- or peri-condensed with heterocyclic rings
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    • A61K31/495Heterocyclic compounds having nitrogen as a ring hetero atom, e.g. guanethidine, rifamycins having six-membered rings with two or more nitrogen atoms as the only ring heteroatoms, e.g. piperazine or tetrazines
    • A61K31/505Pyrimidines; Hydrogenated pyrimidines, e.g. trimethoprim
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    • A61K47/06Organic compounds, e.g. natural or synthetic hydrocarbons, polyolefins, mineral oil, petrolatum or ozokerite
    • A61K47/20Organic compounds, e.g. natural or synthetic hydrocarbons, polyolefins, mineral oil, petrolatum or ozokerite containing sulfur, e.g. dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO], docusate, sodium lauryl sulfate or aminosulfonic acids
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    • A61K47/06Organic compounds, e.g. natural or synthetic hydrocarbons, polyolefins, mineral oil, petrolatum or ozokerite
    • A61K47/22Heterocyclic compounds, e.g. ascorbic acid, tocopherol or pyrrolidones
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    • A61K47/06Organic compounds, e.g. natural or synthetic hydrocarbons, polyolefins, mineral oil, petrolatum or ozokerite
    • A61K47/26Carbohydrates, e.g. sugar alcohols, amino sugars, nucleic acids, mono-, di- or oligo-saccharides; Derivatives thereof, e.g. polysorbates, sorbitan fatty acid esters or glycyrrhizin
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
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    • A61K47/30Macromolecular organic or inorganic compounds, e.g. inorganic polyphosphates
    • A61K47/36Polysaccharides; Derivatives thereof, e.g. gums, starch, alginate, dextrin, hyaluronic acid, chitosan, inulin, agar or pectin
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    • A61K9/107Emulsions ; Emulsion preconcentrates; Micelles

Abstract

An oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, each unit dose comprising a lipophilic drug substance within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled oil-in-water emulsion.

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuing, divisional application of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/123,233, filed Apr. 7, 2011, which is the national stage completion application of PCT Application Number PCT/GB2009/002404, filed Oct. 8, 2009, which claims priority from Great Britain Application No. GB 0818473.1, filed Oct. 8, 2008. Each of these applications is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

This invention relates to oral pharmaceutical compositions comprising a soft, gelled oil-in-water emulsion containing a drug substance, preferably a lipophilic drug substance, but optionally a hydrophilic or amphiphilic drug substance, to processes for their preparation, and to their use.

Many drug substances, i.e. the physiologically active components of pharmaceutical compositions, are hydrophobic and as a result, when administered into the gastrointestinal tract, have poor uptake by the body. Besides being wasteful, this can mean that the patient has to take large or frequent doses, or that the drug substance has to be injected, a procedure that is more uncomfortable for the patient and that may require the cooperation of a doctor or nurse.

Moreover, when the unit dose of a drug substance is large, the oral unit dosage forms, e.g. tablets or capsules, may likewise be large and so difficult for elderly or young patients to swallow and moreover may cause a gagging reaction even with healthy adults. Accordingly, any therapeutic or prophylactic dosage regime which involves the consumption of large numbers of dose units or numbers of large, difficult to swallow, dose units is inherently at risk of patient non-compliance.

However, we have now found that lipophilic drug substances may be administered without these problems when contained within a piece of soft, chewable, gelled oil-in-water emulsion.

Moreover, we have found that the uptake of lipophilic compounds is increased by providing such compounds in the form of a soft, gelled oil-in-water emulsion.

Thus viewed from one aspect the invention provides an oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, each unit dose comprising a lipophilic drug substance within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled oil-in-water emulsion.

Viewed from a further aspect, the invention provides a process for preparing an oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, which process comprises: forming an oil phase comprising a lipophilic drug substance dissolved or dispersed in a physiologically tolerable oil such as one comprising a polyunsaturated fatty acid ester, e.g. an omega-3 acid ester, an omega-6 acid ester, an omega-9 acid ester or a vegetable oil, preferably an omega-3 acid ester, particularly an EPA ester, a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ester or a combination of EPA and DHA esters; forming an aqueous phase comprising an aqueous solution of a physiologically tolerable gelling agent; forming an oil-in-water emulsion with said oil phase and said aqueous phase, allowing said emulsion to gel to form a soft chewable mass; and, before, during or after gelling of said emulsion, dividing said emulsion into dose units.

Viewed from a further aspect, the invention provides an oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, each unit dose comprising a hydrophilic drug substance within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion. Here a water-in-oil emulsion comprising the water soluble drug substance in the aqueous phase is further emulsified with an aqueous phase comprising an aqueous solution of a physiologically tolerable gelling agent. This is especially useful when the hydrophilic drug substances to be administrated have a strong, unpleasant taste.

Viewed from a further aspect, the invention provides a process for preparing an oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, which process comprises: forming an oil phase comprising a physiologically tolerable oil such as one comprising a polyunsaturated fatty acid ester, e.g. an omega-3 acid ester, an omega-6 acid ester, an omega-9 acid ester or a vegetable oil, preferably an omega-3 acid ester, particularly an EPA ester, a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ester or a combination of EPA and DHA esters; forming an aqueous phase comprising an aqueous solution of a hydrophilic drug substance dissolved or dispersed therein; forming a water-in-oil emulsion with said oil phase and said aqueous phase, forming an oil-in-water emulsion with said water-in-oil phase and a further aqueous phase, comprising an aqueous solution of a physiologically tolerable gelling agent, allowing said emulsion to gel to form a soft chewable mass; and, before, during or after gelling of said emulsion, dividing said emulsion into dose units.

The soft, gelled dose units of the present invention can remain intact during passage through the stomach and release the drug substances disposed within the gel matrix further down the gastrointestinal tract where the environment is not so harsh and where uptake is feasible. In this format some of the drug substance at the periphery of the matrix may be degraded by gastric fluid during stomach transit. Nonetheless, the soft, gelled dose units of the present invention have the advantage of being chewable and so more easily swallowed if large, e.g. above 1000 mg, more especially 1500 to 5000 mg. In the case where a large dose is required, the advantage of a single chewable dose unit may outweigh the relatively small loss of drug substance from the periphery of the chewed fragments during stomach transit. Chewable gel units moreover have the advantage that patient compliance is greater for patients with a gag reaction to swallowing tablets or capsules intact, in particular juvenile or elderly patients.

Thus viewed from one aspect the invention provides an oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, each unit dose comprising a lipophilic drug substance within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled oil-in-water emulsion capable of remaining substantially intact during passage through the stomach.

Thus viewed from one aspect the invention provides an oral pharmaceutical composition in unit dose form, each unit dose comprising a hydrophilic drug substance within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion capable of remaining substantially intact during passage through the stomach.

By soft and chewable it is meant that the gelled emulsion is readily deformable rather than rigid while yet being self supporting, i.e. that it will not flow like a viscous liquid, and that it may be readily fragmented upon chewing, i.e. so that it need not be swallowed whole. Typically, such a gelled emulsion may be compressed, at least substantially reversibly, i.e. elastically, by at least 10%, preferably at least 40% upon application of a force/deformation gradient of 0.1 mm/s at 21° C., 50% relative humidity and atmospheric pressure.

Preferably the compression breaking strengths of the soft, gelled dose units of the present invention are greater than 500 g/cm2, particularly greater than 1000 g/cm2, especially preferably greater than 2000 g/cm2, e.g. 2900-3600 g/cm2.

By unitary carrier body, it is meant that each dose unit contains one piece of gelled emulsion. Such pieces may be referred to hereinafter as “cores”.

The cores may be formed from larger pieces of gelled emulsion, e.g. by cutting, or, more preferably by extrusion or molding of dose units of incompletely gelled emulsion.

By drug substance is meant a substance having a desirable therapeutic or prophylactic effect other than as a nutrient, i.e. substances of the type for which regulatory approval as a drug is required in for example the US or the European Union. Less preferably, the drug substance may be a vitamin which classifies as a drug substance for regulatory purposes, e.g. vitamin A, K or D (e.g. ergocalciferol, alphacalcidol and calcitriol). Vitamins, including these, as well as mineral and/or herbs may of course be included in the compositions in addition to non-vitamin drug substances.

By amphiphilic drug substance is meant a drug substance that will distribute at the oil droplet surface. In the single emulsion of the present invention the amphiphilic drug substance is mixed with the oil phase and in the double emulsion of the present invention the amphiphilic drug substance is mixed either with the oil or with the discontinuous aqueous phase of the double emulsion.

Examples of categories of suitable drug substances for use according to the invention include: analgesics; anti-inflammatories; anticancer agents; cardiovascular agents; biological agents; antiallergy agents (e.g. antihistamines); decongestants; antinausea agents, drugs affecting gastrointestinal function, drugs acting on the blood and blood-forming organs, drugs affecting renal and cardiovascular function, antifungal agents, urological agents, hormones, antimicrobial agents, antiepileptical agents, psycholeptical agents, antipsychotic agents, psychoanaleptical agents, anticholinesterase agents, drugs acting on the respiration organs and drugs acting on the eye.

Examples of particular lipophilic drug substances for use according to the invention include: temazepam; diphenhydramine; zolpidem; triazolam; nitrazepam; testosterone; estradiol; progesterone; benzodiazepines; barbiturates; cyclosporine; insulin; calcitonin; dextromethorphan; pseudoephedrine; phenylpropanolamine; bromocryptine; apomorphine; selegiline; amitriptyline; dextroamphetamine; phentermine; mazindol; compazine; chlorpromazine; perphenazine; fluoxetine, buspirone; clemastine; chlorpheniramine; dexochlorpheniramine; astemizole; loratadine; paracetamol; ketoprofen; naproxen; and, particularly, ibuprofen.

Examples of particular hydrophilic drug substances for use according to the invention include: sodium acetazolamide, acetyl salicylic acid, aminophylline, amiodarone hydrochloride, ascorbic acid, atenolol, bendroflumethiazide, calcium folinate, captopril, cetrizine hydrochloride, chloramphenicol sodium succinate, chlorpheniramine maleate, chlorpromazine hydrochloride, cimetidine hydrochloride, ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, clindamycin hydrochloride, clonidine hydrochloride, codeine phosphate, cyclizine hydrochloride, cyclophosphamide, sodium dexamethasone phosphate, sodium dicloxacillin, dicyclomide hydrochloride, diltiazem hydrochloride, diphenhydramine hydrochloride, disopyramide phosphate, doxepin hydrochloride, enalapril maleate, erythromycin ethylsuccinate, flecanide acetate, fluphenazine hydrochloride, folic acid, granisteron hydrochloride, guafenesin, haloperidol lactate, hydralazin hydrochloride, hydrochloroquine sulfate, hydromorphone hydrochloride, hydroxyzine hydrochloride, sodium indomethacin, isoniazid, isoprenaline hydrochloride, ketorolac trometamol, labetalol hydrochloride, lisinopril, lithium sulfate, mesoridazine benzylate, methadone hydrochloride, methylphenidate hydrochloride, methylprednisolone sodium succinate, metorprolol tartrate, metronidazole hydrochloride, methyldopa, mexiletine hydrochloride, molidone hydrochloride, morphine sulfate, naltrexone hydrochloride, neomycin sulfate, ondanstreon hydrochloride, orciprenaline sulfate, sodium oxacillin, oxybutynin chloride, oxycodone hydrochloride, paracetamol, penicillamine, pentoxifylline, petidine hydrochloride, sodium phenobarbital, potassium phenoxymethylpenicillin, phenylephrine hydrochloride, sodium phenyloin, potassium iodide, primaquine phosphate, procainamide hydrochloride, procarbazine hydrochloride, prochlorperazine maleate, promazine hydrochloride, promethazine hydrochloride, propranolol hydrochloride, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, pyridostigmine bromide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, ranitidine hydrochloride, salbutamol sulfate, sodium ethacrynate, sotalol hydrochloride, sumatripan succinate, terbinafine hydrochloride, terbutaline sulfate, tetracycline hydrochloride, thioridazine hydrochloride, thiothixene hydrochloride, trifluoperazine hydrochloride, triprolidine hydrochloride, sodium valproate, vancomycin hydrochloride, vancomycin hydrochloride, verapamil hydrochloride, sodium warfarin.

The quantity of drug substance per unit dose of the compositions of the invention will conveniently be in the range of 50 to 200%, especially 80 to 120%, of the quantity per unit dose in conventional formulations of the drug substance or 25, 50 or 100% of the normal recommended daily adult or child dose. For ibuprofen, for example, the quantity per unit dose is preferably 100 to 1500 mg, especially 200 to 1200 mg, particularly 400 to 600 mg.

The compositions of the invention especially preferably consist of cores of gelled emulsion. However, less preferably, they may comprise a gelled emulsion core provided with a coating of a physiologically tolerable coating material. Such coatings may be of the type conventional within the pharmaceutical industry and may be applied by conventional means, e.g. spraying or dipping. For some applications, especially paediatric applications, a thin sugar (or otherwise sweetened) coating may be desired. Unless it is rapidly soluble in the mouth, however, rigid coatings are generally not desired since it is central to the invention that the soft gelled core be chewable so as to facilitate swallowing.

It is preferred that the cores be non-spherical as this facilitates chewing. While disc and lenticular forms are suitable, it is preferred that the cores be elongate, for example having cylindrical or similar form (optionally of course with rounded ends and one or more planar side faces). Where the application is paediatric, the cores may be in child-attractive forms, e.g. in a geometric shape or in the shape of an animal or cartoon character. In this way, the unit dose may be consumed with ease by patients who otherwise might have difficulty swallowing a conventional tablet or capsule, e.g. the young, the old, those with gag reactions, patients on chemotherapy, and others with reduced mouth function.

Since one major benefit of the compositions of the invention lies in their ease of consumption relative to conventional tablets or capsules, the cores will generally be quite large, e.g. having a mass of 100 to 3000 mg, especially 400 to 2000 mg, particularly 600 to 1500 mg. Where the drug substance dose per unit is quite small and the benefit of the invention lies in improved bioavailability, the cores may be smaller, e.g. as low as 50 mg, however even then larger cores may be used and in this event the compositions may be used as a source of beneficial oils, for example polyunsaturated fatty acid esters such as phospholipids, glycerides and lower alkyl (e.g. C1-6 alkyl, especially ethyl) esters. Preferred polyunsaturated acids in this regard include the omega-3 acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The oil of the oil phase in the compositions of the invention may be any physiologically tolerable oil, such as one comprising a polyunsaturated fatty acid ester, e.g. an omega-3 acid ester, an omega-6 acid ester, an omega-9 acid ester or a vegetable oil, preferably an omega-3 acid ester, but will preferably be one or a mixture of fatty acid esters (for example phospholipids, mono-, di- or tri-glycerides, and lower alkyl esters). Such materials may be natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic. The use of plant and marine oils (e.g. oils from plant seeds, algae, fish (especially oily fish), microorgansims and marine invertebrates (especially krill)) is especially preferred as is the use of DHA and/or EPA ethyl esters. Mammalian oils will generally be undesired.

In one preferred embodiment, the oil of the oil phase may be a 90% mixture of ethyl EPA ester and ethyl DPA ester. This is available as Omacor® from Pronova Biocare AS, Lysaker, Norway.

Where the drug substance is not oxidation sensitive, it is generally preferred to use an oil which likewise is not oxidation sensitive since in this event the emulsion need not be guarded against oxidation during preparation or storage. Oils with low or no content of polyunsaturated acids may then be used. Where however the drug substance is oxidation sensitive, it may be preferred to use oils which are or majoritatively are polyunsaturated fatty acid esters, especially omega-3 esters, as these may function in part to reduce drug substance oxidation and as they may provide additional benefit to the consumer. Even where the drug substance is not oxidation sensitive, the use of oils which are or majoritatively are polyunsaturated fatty acid esters may be desirable, especially where such esters contribute to the beneficial effect of the drug, for example where the drug substance is a cardiovascular therapy or anticancer therapy agent.

Typically the oil phase will constitute 0.05 to 5 g, preferably 0.1 to 3 g, especially 0.2 to 2 g, particularly 0.3 to 1.25 g, more particularly 0.4 to 0.75 g, per dose unit. Alternatively put, the oil phase preferably constitutes 5 to 75% wt., especially at least 35 to 50% wt., e.g. 40 to 50% wt. of the dose unit.

The gelling agent used in the aqueous phase of the emulsion may be any physiologically tolerable gelling agent (preferably a saccharide (e.g. an oligosaccharide or polysaccharide), a protein or a glycoprotein) or combination capable of forming a soft, chewable, self-supporting gelled oil-in-water emulsion. Many such materials are known from the food and pharmaceutical industry and are discussed for example in Handbook of hydrocolloids, G O Phillips and P A Williams (Eds.), Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2000. The gelling agents are preferably materials capable of undergoing a sol-gel transformation, e.g. under the influence of a change in physiochemical parameters such as temperature, pH, presence of metal ions (e.g. group 1 or 2 metal ions), etc. Preferred gelling agents include gelatins, alginates and carrageenans. However, the use of gelatins is especially preferred as breakdown in the throat of trapped fragments is ensured and as cores having the desired properties may readily be produced using gelatins.

Here it should be emphasized that the gelled emulsion should be self-supporting, soft and fragmentable on chewing. It is not desired that the gelled emulsion should dissolve rapidly in the mouth without chewing as the administration of the composition would then differ little functionally from administration of an oil solution of the drug. Gelatin can be used to give the gelled emulsions these desired characteristics.

The gelatins used as gelling agents in the composition of the invention may be produced from the collagen of any mammal or the collagen of any aquatic species, however the use of gelatin from salt-water fish and in particular cold and warm water fishes is preferred.

Gelatins having an imino acid content of 5 to 25% wt. are preferred, more especially those having an imino acid content of 10 to 25% wt. The gelatins will typically have a weight average molecular weight in the range 10 to 250 kDa, preferably 75 to 220 kDa, especially 80 to 200 kDa. Gelatins having no Bloom value or low Bloom values of 60-300, especially 90-200 are preferred. Where a gelatin of no Bloom value, e.g. a cold water fish gelatin, is used, this will typically be used together with another gelatin or other gelling agent. The combination of cold water and warm water fish gelatins is especially preferred. The gelatin will typically be present in the aqueous phase at a concentration of 1 to 50% wt., preferably 2 to 35% wt., particularly 5 to 25% wt. In the case of mixtures of gelatin and polysaccharides, the weight ratio of gelatin to polysaccharide in the aqueous phase will typically be 50:1 to 5:1, preferably 40:1 to 9:1, especially 20:1 to 10:1.

Where polysaccharides, or mixtures of polysaccharides and gelatin are used as the gelling agent, it is preferred to use natural polysaccharides, synthetic polysaccharides or semisynthetic polysaccharides, e.g. polysaccharides from plants, fish, terrestrial mammals, algae, bacteria and derivatives and fragmentation products thereof. Typical marine polysaccharides include carageenans, alginates, agars and chitosans. Typical plant polysaccharides include pectins. Typical microorganism polysaccharides include gellans and scleroglucans. The use of charged, e.g. electrostatically charged and/or sulfated polysaccharides is preferred, as is the use of marine polysaccharides, in particular carageenans, and alginates, especially carageenans. Carageenans are used below as representative polysaccharide gelling agents.

The carageenan family, which includes iota- and kappa-carageenans, is a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides produced from red algae. The repeating disaccharide unit in kappa-carrageenan is β-D-galactose-4-sulfate and 3,6-anhydro-α-D-galactose, while that in iota-carrageenan is β-D-galactose-4-sulfate and 3,6-anhydro-α-D-galactose-2-sulfate. Both kappa- and iota-carrageenans are used in food preparations. The carrageenans are used as stabilisers, emulsifiers, gelling agents and fat replacers.

Both iota and kappa carrageenans form salt- or cold-setting reversible gels in an aqueous environment. Coil-helix transition and aggregation of helices form the gel network. Kappa-carrageenan has binding sites for specific monovalent cations, resulting in gel formation with decreasing shear and elastic moduli in the order Cs+>K+>>Na+>Li+. As a rule, an increasing salt concentration enhances the elastic modulus and the setting and melting temperatures of a kappa-carrageenan gel. The use of water-soluble potassium, rubidium, or caesium compounds, particularly potassium compounds, and particularly naturally occurring compounds (e.g. salts) is preferred when kappa-carrageenan is used according to the invention, e.g. at concentrations of up to 100 mM, more especially up to 50 mM. A salt-dependent conformational transition is also found for iota-carrageenan. The molecules are also known to undergo coil-helix transition with strong helix-stabilisation in the presence of multivalent cations, like Ca2+. The use of water-soluble calcium, strontium, barium, iron or aluminium compounds, especially calcium compounds, and particularly naturally occurring compounds (e.g. salts) is preferred when iota-carrageenan is used according to the invention, e.g. at concentrations of up to 100 mM.

The polysaccharide gelling agents used according to the invention will typically have weight average molecular weights of 5 kDa to 2 MDa, preferably 10 kDa to 1 MDa, most preferably 100 kDa to 900 kDa, particularly 200 to 800 kDa. They will typically be used at concentrations of 0.01 to 5% wt, preferably 0.1 to 1.5% wt., particularly 0.2 to 1% wt in the aqueous phase. Where mono or multivalent cations, typically group 1 or group 2 metal ions, are included in the aqueous phase, this will typically be at concentrations in the range 2.5 to 100 mM, particularly 5 to 50 mM.

Besides the gelling agent and water and any required gelling initiator, other physiologically tolerable materials may be present in the aqueous phase, e.g. emulsifiers, emulsion stabilizers, pH modifiers, viscosity modifiers, sweeteners, fillers, vitamins (e.g. vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folacin, panthotenic acid), minerals, aromas, flavours, colours, physiologically active agents, etc. It is especially preferred that a lipophilic antioxidant, e.g. vitamin E, be included in the oil phase. Other vitamins which may be present in the oil phase are vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K. Such further components are used widely in the food, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. The use of cellulose derivatives (e.g. hydroxy methyl propyl cellulose) as emulsion stabilizers is especially preferred.

The pH of the aqueous phase of the emulsion is preferably in the range 2 to 9, particularly 3 to 7.5.

The aqueous phase preferably has a gelling temperature in the range 10 to 30° C., more preferably 15 to 28° C., and a melting temperature in the range 20 to 80° C., more preferably 24 to 60° C., especially 28 to 50° C.

Where a sweetener is included in the aqueous phase, this will typically be selected from natural sweeteners such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, reduced glucose, maltose, xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol, isomalt, erythritol, polyglycitol, polyglucitol and glycerol and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, saccharine, sucralose. The use of non-cariogenic sweeteners is preferred and the use of xylitol is especially preferred.

Where the drug substance is an analgesic, especially paracetamol or acetylsalicylic acid, or an antihistamine, it is preferred to use gelatin and/or to use an oil which is substantially free of polyunsaturated fatty acids, i.e. oxidatively stable.

Besides lipophilic drug substances, the gelled emulsion may be used as a delivery vehicle for calcium compounds, especially calcium carbonate, for use in the treatment or prophylaxis of osteoporosis. For this purpose, the calcium compound (e.g. a calcium salt (especially calcium carbonate) as described in WO00/28973 and WO96/09036, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference) may be dispersed in one or both of the oil and aqueous phases before or during gelation. Alternatively, a water or oil soluble calcium salt may be dissolved in the water or oil phase. In such compositions, it is especially desirable to include one or both of xylitol and vitamin D in the compositions, e.g. respectively in the water and oil phases.

Calcium tablets for osteoporosis treatment are typically large, crunchable discs weighing well over a gram so as to provide a calcium dose of about 500 mg. These tablets are extremely difficult to swallow whole and if crunched or allowed to dissolve release calcium carbonate particles into the mouth which may provide a long-lasting, unpleasant mouthfeel. Such tablets are required daily by the elderly and, since they are difficult to consume, there is a resulting problem with patient compliance. By presenting the calcium within a soft, chewable gelled oil-in-water emulsion of the type described herein, it is made much easier for the patient to consume the large daily dose, generally in two or a single dose unit.

The calcium compound present in the tablets preferably has a mean particle size by volume of 0.5-25 μm, especially 1-20 μm, particularly 2-15 μm.

Since tablet size is not an issue for the compositions of the invention, at least some of the calcium may be presented in dissolved form. (For solid, crunchable tablets, minimising tablet size to facilitate consumption has meant the presentation of the calcium as particulate calcium carbonate).

The daily calcium dose is preferably 500 to 2000 mg Ca, particularly 800 to 1500 mg Ca, especially about 1000 mg Ca. Where, as is preferred, vitamin D (e.g. vitamin D3) is co-administered, the daily dose is preferably 100 to 1500 IU, particularly 200 to 1000 IU, especially 400 to 900 IU. A calcium to vitamin D ratio of 1 g Ca to 800-900 IU vitamin D is especially preferred. The proportion of this dose per dose unit of the composition of the invention is typically 20-100%, preferably about 25%, about 50% or about 100%, especially about 50% or 100%.

Thus viewed from a further aspect the invention provides an oral pharmaceutical composition in dose unit form comprising a physiologically tolerable calcium compound within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled oil-in-water emulsion, and wherein the calcium content per dose unit is at least 125 mg Ca, for example 125 to 2000 mg Ca, especially 400 to 1200 mg Ca.

The dose units of the compositions of the invention may be formed in conventional fashion, e.g. preparation of the emulsion and formation of the emulsion into a gelled mass for example by dosing into molds before gelation is complete or by cutting a gelled mass into individual dose units, and, if desired, coating the gelled dose units. Emulsification and subsequent steps involving unpackaged gel are preferably effected under a non-oxidizing atmosphere, e.g. a nitrogen atmosphere.

Particularly preferably the dose units are blister packed and accordingly it is especially desirable to use the blistered layer of the blister packaging as the mold. The blister pack can then be foil sealed. The use of oxygen-impermeable foil packaging is especially preferred, e.g. as both laminate of a blister pack or as a single dose unit containing sachet. Oxygen-impermeable foils, e.g. metal/plastics laminates, are well known in the food and pharmaceuticals industries.

Viewed from a further aspect the invention provides the use of a drug substance for the manufacture of a composition according to the invention for use in a method of treatment of a human.

Viewed from a further aspect the invention provides a method of treatment of a human subject with an effective amount of a drug substance, said method comprising administering said substance to said subject orally in a composition according to the invention.

Viewed from a still further aspect the invention provides a pharmaceutical package, preferably a blister pack or sachet, comprising a foil-encased composition according to the invention.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described in the following non-limiting examples and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are graphs showing the omega-3 fatty acid concentration and composition of EPA and DHA respectively in total plasma delivered by three different administration forms;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are graphs showing the total amount of EPA and DHA taken up respectively, i.e. the area under the curve of the graphs in FIGS. 1 and 2 respectively.

EXAMPLE 1

Drug-Free Composition

An aqueous phase is formed from the following ingredients:

Gelatin 7.5% wt
Xylitol 36% wt
Sorbitol 14% wt
50% Citric acid 1% wt
Lemon flavour 0.15% wt
Water ad 100% wt

Sunflower oil (or alternatively an omega-3 ester (Omacor®) is emulsified with the aqueous phase in a weight ratio of 45:55 and the emulsion is poured in aliquots of 1.5 g into elongate moulds lined with a metal/plastics laminate blister tray and allowed to set. The blister tray is thermally sealed with a metal/plastics foil cover sheet.

EXAMPLE 2

Drug-Containing Compositions

The drugs listed in Table 1 below are dissolved or dispersed in the oil or water phases used in Example 1 (in the oil phase if lipophilic or in the aqueous phase if not) at the concentrations per dose unit set out in Table 1 before emulsions are produced, poured and allowed to set as in Example 1. The set-gel dosage units are packaged as in Example 1.

For drug concentrations below 100 mg per dose unit, the dose units are conveniently 250, 500 or 750 mg. For concentrations above 100 mg per dose unit, the dose units are conveniently 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 or 3000 mg. Where an omega-3 ester is used as the oil of the oil phase, the dose units are preferably at least 1000 mg.

TABLE 1
Drug substance Dose per dose unit (mg)
Ibuprofen 100-1500 (e.g. 200, 400, 600 and 800)
Naproxen 250, 375 and 500
Ketoprofen 12.5-300 (e.g. 12.5, 50, 75, 100 and 200)
Paracetamol 500-1000
Loratadine 10
Astemizole 10, 50 and 200
Dexochlorpheniramine 2-12 (e.g. 2, 4, 6 and 8)
Chlorpheniramine 4
Clemastine 1 and 2 (as fumarate, 1.34 and 2.68)
Diphenhydramine 25 and 50
Buspirone 5, 10, 15, and 30
Fluoxetine 5-90 (e.g. 10 and 20)
Perphenazine 2, 4, 8 and 16
Chlorpromazine 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200
Prochlorperazine 5, 10 and 15
Mazindol 1, 2 and 3
Phentermine 8-40 (e.g. 8, 15 and 30)
Dextroamphetamine 5, 10 and 15
Amitriptyline 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 150
Selegiline 1.25, 5 and 10
Apomorphine 5 and 10
Bromocryptine 2.5 to 40 (e.g. 2.5, 5, 10, 15)
Phenylpropanolamine 25, 50, 75, 400 and 600
Pseudoephedrine 60 and 120
Dextromethorphan 30-600 (e.g. 30, 90, 400)
Calcitonin 5, 30, 35, 75 and 150
Insulin Recommended daily dose
Cyclosporine 25 and 100
Barbiturate (butabarbital) 30, 50 and 100
Benzodiazepine (e.g. temazepam, 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2
triazolam and nitrazepam)
Progesterone 100, 200 and 300
Estradiol (as estradiol valerinate) 0.5, 1 and 2
Testosterone (as testosterone 10
undecanoate)
Nitrazepam 0.3, 1, 2.5, 5 and 10
Triazolam 0.125, 0.25 and 0.5
Zolpidem 5 and 10
Temazepam 7.5, 15, 22.5 and 30
Ergocalciferol 10-200 kIU (e.g. 30000 IU)
Alphacalcidol 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 micrograms
Calcitriol 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 micrograms

The selegiline, apomorphine, insulin and calcitonin dose units are preferably dissolved in the mouth rather than chewed/swallowed.

EXAMPLE 3

Gum Arabicum-Containing Compositions

An aqueous phase is prepared using the following components:

Gelatin 5.7% wt
Xylitol 24.2% wt
Sorbitol 10.4% wt
50% Citric acid 0.6% wt
Lemon flavour 1.1% wt
Gum arabicum 3.7% wt
Water ad 100% wt

Drug-free and drug-containing dose units are prepared using this aqueous phase analogously to Examples 1 and 2.

EXAMPLE 4

Calcium Composition

An aqueous phase is prepared according to Example 1 but with an additional 1% wt hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose. 1250 mg/mL calcium carbonate (Scoralite 1B from Scora SA, France) is dispersed in this aqueous phase whereafter an emulsion is formed with the addition of cod liver oil (1:1 by volume) containing dissolved vitamin D3. The emulsion is stirred until gelling begins whereafter it is dosed into moulds at a dose unit of 1250 mg CaCO3 and 400 IU vitamin D3 per dose unit. The dose units are sealed as in Example 1.

EXAMPLE 5

Randomised, Controlled Trial

The absorption of omega-3 fatty acids delivered by two different administration forms (two different formulations of omega-3 food supplements) is compared.

5 g omega-3 fatty acids (2.805 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 1.87 g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) in triglyceride form and 13 mg Vitamin E were administered to students of 18-28 years of age, in the form of either a soft gelled oil-in-water emulsion or as standard softgel capsules. Blood samples were collected after 0, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 26 hours. The fatty acid concentration and composition in total plasma were measured.

In FIGS. 1-4, A and D correspond to administration of the soft-gelled oil-in-water emulsion of the present invention containing EPA or DHA respectively, B and E correspond to the administration of a standard omega-3 soft gel capsules containing a liquid marine phospholipid core and C and F correspond to the administration of standard omega-3 soft gel capsules containing a liquid triglyceride core.

From FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that lipophilic compounds (e.g. the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) are absorbed more quickly when administered in a soft gelled oil-in-water emulsion than when administered in the form of a standard soft gel capsule containing a liquid core.

From FIGS. 3 and 4, it can be seen that a higher total plasma concentration of lipophilic compounds (e.g. the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) is achieved when administered in a soft gelled oil-in-water emulsion than when administered in the form of a standard soft gel capsule containing a liquid core.

EXAMPLE 6

Ibuprofen Composition (Double Emulsion)

An aqueous phase is formed from the following ingredients:

Ibuprofen solution (50 (w/v) %)* 71.6 wt %

Flavouring 28.4 wt % *Solvent:

    • 50 (v/v) % water
    • 25 (v/v) % PEG (50 (w/v) %)
    • 25 (v/v) % KOH (50 (w/v) %)

Sorbitan sesquiolate (or another emulsifier) is mixed with the oil (e.g. an omega-3 ester (Omacor®)) in a weight ratio of 5:95. This oil phase is emulsified with the aqueous phase in a weight ratio of 69:31 using an ULTRA-TURRAX® high-performance disperser (available from IKA).

A further aqueous phase is formed from the following ingredients:

Gelatin 17.2 wt %
Gum arabicum 4.2 wt %
Sorbitol 15.9 wt %
Xylitol 29.6 wt %
Na-Saccharin 0.1 wt %
Na-Cyclamate 0.9 wt %
Citric acid 0.9 wt %
Colouring 1.5 wt %
Water ad 100 wt %

The above water-in-oil emulsion is further emulsified with the further aqueous phase in a weight ratio of 69:31 using an ULTRA-TURRAX® high-performance disperser and the water-in-oil-in-water emulsion (double emulsion) is poured in aliquots of 1.5 g into elongate moulds lined with a metal/plastics laminate blister tray and allowed to set. The blister tray is thermally sealed with a metal/plastics foil cover sheet.

EXAMPLE 7

Hydrophilic Drug-Containing Compositions

The drugs listed in Table 2 below are dissolved or dispersed in the oil or water phases used in Example 6 at the concentrations per dose unit set out in Table 2 before emulsions are produced, poured and allowed to set as in Example 6. The set-gel dosage units are packaged as in Example 6.

TABLE 2
Drug substance Dose per dose unit (mg)
Acetazolamide sodium 125
Acetyl salicylic acid 75
Aminophylline 100
Amiodarone hydrochloride 100
Ascorbic acid  25-100
Atenolol  25-100
Bendroflumethiazide  5-10
Calcium folinate  5-25
Captopril 12.5-100 
Cetrizine hydrochlorid 2.5-10 
Chloramphenicol sodium succinate 125
Chlorpheniramine maleate  2-12
Chlorpromazine hydrochloride  10-100
Cimetidine hydrochloride 100
Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride 100
Clindamycin hydrochloride  75-150
Clonidine hydrochloride 0.1-0.3
Codeine phosphate 15-60
Cyclizine hydrochloride  50-150
Cyclophosphamide 25-50
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate 0.25-6  
Dicloxacillin sodium 125
Dicyclomide hydrochloride 20
Diltiazem hydrochloride  30-120
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride 12.5-50  
Disopyramide phosphate 100
Doxepin hydrochloride  10-150
Enalapril maleate 2.5
Erythromycin ethylsuccinate 100
Flecanide acetate  50-150
Fluphenazine hydrochloride  1-10
Folic acid 0.4-1  
Granisteron hydrochloride 1
Guafenesin 100
Haloperidol lactate 0.5-20 
Hydralazin hydrochloride  10-100
Hydrochloroquine sulfate 200
Hydromorphone hydrochloride 1-8
Hydroxyzine hydrochloride  10-100
Indomethacin sodium 25-75
Isoniazid  50-100
Isoprenaline hydrochloride 10-15
Ketorolac trometamol 10
Labetalol hydrochloride 100
Lisinopril 2.5-40 
Lithium sulfate 42-83
Mesoridazine bensylate  10-100
Methadone hydrochloride  5-40
Methylphenidate hydrochloride  5-20
Methylprednisolone sodium succinate  2-32
Metorprolol tartrate  50-100
Metronidazole hydrochloride 250
Metyldopa 125
Mexiletine hydrochloride 150
Molidone hydrochloride  5-100
Morphine sulfate  15-200
Naltrexone hydrochloride 50
Neomycin sulfate 125
Ondanstreon hydrochloride 4-8
Orciprenaline sulfate 10-20
Oxacillin sodium 250
Oxybutynin chloride 5
Oxycodone hydrochloride  5-80
Paracetamol  80-160
Penicillamine 125
Pentoxifylline 400
Petidine hydrochloride  50-100
Phenobarbital sodium  15-100
Phenoxymethylpenicillin potassium 125
Phenylephrine hydrochloride 10
Phenytoin sodium  50-100
Potassium iodide 130
Primaquine phosphate 15
Procainamide hydrochloride 250
Procarbazine hydrochloride 50
Prochlorperazine maleate  5-30
Promazine hydrochloride 25-50
Promethazine hydrochloride 12.5-50  
Propranolol hydrochloride  10-160
Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride  30-120
Pyridostigmine bromide  60-180
Pyridoxine hydrochloride  10-200
Ranitidine hydrochloride  75-150
Salbutamol sulfate 2-8
Sodium ethacrynate 25-50
Sotalol hydrochloride  80-160
Sumatripan succinate 25-50
Terbinafine hydrochloride 250
Terbutaline sulfate 2.5-5  
Tetracycline hydrochloride 125
Thioridazine hydrochloride  10-150
Thiothixene hydrochloride  1-20
Trifluoperazine hydrochloride  1-10
Triprolidine hydrochloride 2.5
Valproate sodium 125
Vancomycin hydrochloride 125
Verapamil hydrochloride  40-120
Warfarin sodium  1-10

EXAMPLE 8

Vitamin B Composition (Double Emulsion)

An aqueous phase is formed from the following ingredients:

Premix vitamin powder 11.8 wt %
UF29278368 *
Water ad 100 wt %
* Supplemix Multivit-Tab containing among others Vitamin B1 base, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6 base, Vitamin B9 and Vitamin B12

Sorbitan sesquiolate (or another emulsifier) is mixed with the oil (e.g. caprilic/capric triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil)) in a weight ratio of 5:95. This oil phase is emulsified with the aqueous phase in a weight ratio of 50:50 using an ULTRA-TURRAX® high-performance disperser.

A further aqueous phase is formed from the following ingredients:

Gelatin 17.2 wt %
Gum arabicum 4.2 wt %
Sorbitol 15.9 wt %
Xylitol 29.6 wt %
Na-Saccharin 0.1 wt %
Na-Cyclamate 0.9 wt %
Citric acid 0.9 wt %
Colouring 1.5 wt %
Water ad 100 wt %

The above water-in-oil emulsion is further emulsified with the further aqueous phase in a weight ratio of 69:31 using an ULTRA-TURRAX® high-performance disperser and the water-in-oil-in-water emulsion (double emulsion) is poured in aliquots of 1.5 g into elongate moulds lined with a metal/plastics laminate blister tray and allowed to set. The blister tray is thermally sealed with a metal/plastics foil cover sheet.

EXAMPLE 9

Calcium and Vitamin D Composition

An aqueous phase is prepared using the following components:

Gelatin 9.1% wt
Xylitol 38.7% wt
Sorbitol 16.6% wt
Citric acid 0.9% wt
Gum arabicum 5.9% wt
Water ad 100% wt

An oil phase is prepared using the following components:

Flavouring 25% wt
Vitamin D 0.03% wt
Colouring 5% wt
Sunflower oil* ad 100% wt
*or alternatively an omega-3 ester(Omacor ®)

The oil phase is emulsified with the aqueous phase in a weight ratio of 7:93. The emulsion is mixed with calcium carbonate powder (Eskal 500 from Staubtechnik, particle size 4-14 μm, ca. 80% by volume<10 μm) in a weight ratio of 1:1 to form a homogeneous solution and poured in aliquots of 1.5 g into elongate moulds lined with a metal/plastics laminate blister tray and allowed to set. The blister tray is thermally sealed with a metal/plastics foil cover sheet.

Analogous dose units, produced without Vitamin D, did not have the gritty or dustlike taste of other commercially available tablets. Instead, said dose units tasted like fizzy candy.

Claims (6)

The invention claimed is:
1. An oral pharmaceutical composition in dose unit form comprising a physiologically tolerable calcium compound within a unitary carrier body, said body comprising a soft, chewable, gelled oil-in-water emulsion, wherein the calcium compound is dispersed in one or both of the oil and aqueous phases of the emulsion, and wherein the calcium content per dose unit is at least 125 mg Ca, and further wherein the aqueous phase comprises gelatin as a gelling agent in an amount of 5 to 50% wt. of the aqueous phase, and the weight of said dose unit is 1,000 mg to 5,000 mg.
2. A composition as claimed in claim 1 containing particulate calcium carbonate.
3. A composition as claimed in claim 1 further containing xylitol.
4. A composition as claimed in claim 1 consisting of a said gelled emulsion containing said calcium compound.
5. A pharmaceutical package comprising a composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein said composition is foil-encased.
6. A package as claimed in claim 5 in the form of a blister pack.
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